Lord McAlpine dies aged 71

mealpinedeadLord Alistair Mc Alpine died at his Italian home on Friday night, his family announced this morning.

In a statement they said “It is with great sadness that the family of Lord McAlpine announce his peaceful death last night at his home in Italy.”

The former aide to Margaret Thatcher and Conservative party chairman gained notoriety recently after being involved in legal action against several people – including Sally Bercow, the wife of Commons speaker John Bercow – in which he earned substantial damages for being implicated in allegations of his involvement in child abuse at a north Wales care home during the 1970s and 1980s – even though he was never directly named in the original broadcast of allegations made by abuse victim Steve Meesham on the BBC’s Newsnight programme.

McAlpine was at the centre of speculation which spread around the internet on social networking sites (including Twitter) and embarked on a series of legal actions against Twitter users who spread the information (some naming McAlpine directly and some referring to a ‘senior member of the Conservative party) – targeting those with a significant number of followers for personal legal action – and some who had never named McAlpine directly.

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